Mirabel’s Missing Valentine Written by Janel Lawler and Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller

Welcome to February! I can’t believe how cold it’s been this week. I hope you are warm and drinking a cup of hot chocolate and reading a good book on this wonderful morning!

I’m excited to share a cute, cute children’s picture book for the Valentine’s Day season (which, if you live where I live, started the day after Christmas): Mirabel’s Missing Valentine (out from from Sterling in December 2018).

Written by Janel Lawler and illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller, Mirabel’s Missing Valentines has the makings of what could be a very popular Valentine’s Day book.

Shy little Mirabel does not want to exchange Valentine’s cards but makes original Valentine’s cards for her classmates anyway. After getting a late start, Mirabel heads to school the next morning with her Valentine’s cards in her bag. When the cards drop out of her bag, she learns the power of filling up others’ hearts. ♥️

Many young readers will relate to Mirabel’s struggles with shyness. It is Mirbel’s own handmade cards (each signed with a ❤️) that sparkle for community members to see. No adult comes in and saves the day. And this is important for readers to see. Sure to please children and adults alike, Mueller’s digital art is colorful and detailed.

The rhyming nature of the book worked in most places, but there were a few places that seemed a bit forced, most notably, in the book’s final line. I also wonder about the decision to have the community members give the Valentine’s cards back to Mirabel. If anything, this plot detail will spark discussion.

A cute read for Valentine’s Day, Mirabel’s Missing Valentines earns three hearts. ♥️ ❤️ 💜


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